Heather Garcia

Heather Garcia, RN

PICU
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
United States
We were literally in a fight for our son's life, and Heather was fighting for us.

We had many amazing nurses during our son's stay in the PICU, but Heather stands out to us for one huge reason -- she treated our son as if he was her own child when we were there. As a mother, I felt helpless watching my baby. All of the things your instincts tell you to do, you just can't. You can't feed your own baby, bathe them, hold them... She helped by doing little things that made me feel like my son was still being taken care of as I would do. She kept his little body clean the best she could. She washed all the goop out of his hair that had been there for a week from the brain monitor. She gave him a "faux-hawk." She washed his mouth out gently with swabs. She got him a sound machine to dull out the beeping of all the machines. She propped his body up with blankets to make him more comfortable. She figured out a way to make it easier to weigh his bandages (so he didn't have to get moved so much). She talked gently to him when she was working on him (even though he was in a coma-like state). These are things that meant the world to a mother and father who had no control over their child's well-being.

Beyond that, she paid attention. At rounds, she would give input or make suggestions when needed based off what she had been seeing that day or had seen/read the day before. She wasn't shy to offer up information to the doctors. We were literally in a fight for our son's life, and Heather was fighting for us. My husband and I have no training in the medical field, so when we were thrust into our son's battle with BA, we felt overwhelmed with information because it was all so new to us. She answered our questions the best she could, and if she didn't have an answer, she would try to get one for us. Heather made our experience at CHOP a little less scary.

In the end, our son didn't get to come home with us. But, I know he was in the best hands, and Heather was part of that. I am so grateful for her and what she did for my son.